Good morning, I’ve had a most
instructively contrary twenty-four hours and damn it, I mean to share.
I’ve bashed my erstwhile Monday Man-Crush, The-Person-Called-Trudeau (I didn’t mean it, baby, it must have been the string beans, honest!) in broad daylight on The Guardian’s website (on the other hand you never picked up your cell, and you dance like a str8-tard, nyah!); and now, in response to » a deliciously spiteful article on Medium, I’ve stood up for The Great Mannequin, Her Royal Trophy-ness, The Missus Melania—and may every Progressive worthy of the name heave great gobbing globules of spittle on me should I dare show my face in public again.
And how much, I ask myself, do I really care? And do I agree with myself? Politics is so confusing.
Here’s the link to the Medium article:
And here’s my response:
When I, progressive as I am
down to my toes and up to my increasingly wrinkled brow, see a — critique? Article? such as this one — searching for the right word here. What do they call it when someone is denounced from a pulpit? Anathema.
Anyway, when I see an, err, anathema, I have a strategy. First, I read it through, even though I may have to prop open my eyelids like they do to Malcolm McDowell as the protagonist in “A Clockwork Orange”. I find cocktail toothpicks work well for this.
It’s not that I’m bored. Far from it. In fact, in the case of this particular anathema, from the first sighting of the words “gets what she deserves” I’m filled with revulsion. Now, as a writer and an artist, I know that revulsion is often a good sign, a sign that the work has had a profound effect on me. I mean, I didn’t set out to read anything with the word “Trump” in it expecting a day in the country and a hamper from Holt Renfrew, you hear what I’m saying?
Second, and I know you’re all following along here, I put on my conservatard-proof full-body nuclear jumpsuit, ready for the onslaught of “you liberals” and “nothing better to do” and “nyah nyah you lost we won” off-the-rack progressive-bashing, which involves little imagination but a lot of spraying saliva. Check.
And third, I attempt to fashion a reasoned response, because though I don’t agree with a lot of what you say — and maybe even you don’t agree with a lot of what you say — I am darned determined to back you up as much as I can, as though we were a divorcing couple who hold hands in public but fight at home with the curtains closed.
So honey, now that the curtains are closed — I understand your righteous indignation, and I’m all for it, but let’s talk. Let’s leave “she’s costing the taxpayer money”, because that’s just silly. Anyone in the role of FLOTUS is costing the taxpayer money, vapid or not. And it’s interesting to speculate on the hand-brushing-away thing, but neither you nor I nor anyone has the slightest clue what that is about, not really. You are reading into that gesture a confirmation of a story you have built up about Melania.
Melania Trump made choices that many women might have made had they had the opportunity, and I don’t particularly see anything vile or even surprising about them. She had, as far as I’ve read, a successful career, she married a wealthy man and took every advantage of that—and what would the rest of us do, eat Pot Noodles and shop at the Sally Ann?— and now, (here’s my story) to her astonishment, and possibly horror, she’s married to the President, with every eye upon her. She may be unfit, she may take a deep breath and rise to the occasion. I suspect the latter.
No, let’s be honest, I hope for the latter. I want women to be strong and successful and rise to the occasion; I’m just a sucker for hope, that way.
But in no way, no way, is she responsible for her husband’s performance or his policies. No way is she responsible for his crass behavior or his beliefs, assuming he actually has some. No way does her position as first spouse necessarily mean that she supports him.
What am I saying, ultimately? Resist the urge to blanket condemn anything that Trump touches, including his wife. It’s not a black and white issue, your words, not mine; but your insistence on having Melania play the role of “evil consort” leaves no room for nuance, and nuance, god help us, is what we crave more than ever.
Have some empathy for someone caught up in a role they never anticipated, have some faith. And never, never put your sister down.
Great piece, by the way.